chapter  4
Institution-Building
The Courts Act 1971, c. 23 and the founding of the Crown Court: IV
WithPaul Rock
Pages 37

The new machinery of justice was given some cohesion by a new web of circuit advisory committees set up in August 1971 under recommendations laid out in paragraphs 325 to 327 of the Royal Commission report and subsequently in section 30 of the Courts Act. There was strong local hostility to the Royal Commission’s proposition that criminal courts at Oxford itself should be relegated to the inferior standing of a second-tier centre, and that matter too was subject to protracted discussion with circuit administrators and others. The Under-Sheriff and Clerk of the Peace for Oxfordshire had informed the Royal Commission that the County Hall in Oxford had no waiting room for jurors, no room in which lawyers could conduct interviews, scant accommodation for the clerk of Assize and primitive lavatories. The Royal Commission had determined from a very early date the shape of the system it proposed to bring in, and it was a system that won almost unanimous approval.